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Most reliable new and used luxury cars

2010 Which? Car Survey results revealed
The Mercedez-Benz E-class scored highest for new car reliability

Find out which luxury cars are most reliable, both new and used

The annual Which? Car Survey is the biggest and best in Britain, giving owners the chance to say what they love or hate about their cars.

Last year, we received feedback on 66,669 cars in total, officially making the Which? Car Survey the biggest survey of car reliability and satisfaction for the fourth year running.

Using the results from the 2010 Which? Car Survey, here are our top five new and top five used luxury cars.

New cars were on sale new in 2010 and are up to three years old. For the purposes of our survey, used cars are aged between four and eight years old.

Where a particular model appears more than once (Mercedes-Benz E-class), this is due to two different generations being included in the same time period.

These results will soon be updated when the 2011 Which? Car Survey figures are in.

Which? Car Survey 2011

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This year we expect even more feedback with our new online-only car survey.

The input we receive from you about your car helps us drive up standards in the motor industry. We celebrate those manufacturers that gain strong reliability and satisfaction ratings, and name those that don’t.

Anyone can fill in the survey – it’s not just for Which? members. And this year you can win £5,000 just by taking part – for free.

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New luxury cars

The Mercedes-Benz E-class scored highest for new luxury car reliability

Mercedes-Benz E-class

Mercedes-Benz E-class

Model year: 2002-2009

Reliability score: 89%

The previous generation Mercedes-Benz E-class scores highly for reliability, with both petrol and diesel models on a par. Later models are more reliable according to the 2010 Which? Car Survey results. Non-engine electrics are the main cause of complaint here.

Read reviews of all generations of the Mercedes-Benz E-class

The 2009- Mercedes-Benz E-class is a reliable luxury car

Mercedes-Benz E-class

Mercedes-Benz E-class

Model year: 2009-

Reliability score: 89%

The latest, more angular version of the Mercedes-Benz E-class matches the reliability standard set by the car it replaced. Brand reliability isn’t exceptional for Mercedes-Benz overall, according to our survey results, but the E-class performs especially well.

The Volvo V70 is the third most reliable new luxury car according to the 2010 Which? Car Survey

Volvo V70

Volvo V70

Model year: 2007-

Reliability score: 87%

The Volvo V70, now in its third generation, scored a respectable 87% overall reliability rating in the 2010 Which? Car Survey. Non-engine electrics are the most common problem, hence the fact the V70 scores less well for faults and niggles than it does for breakdowns. Petrol and diesel models are on a par.

Read the Volvo V70 full review

The 2002-2009 BMW 5 Series is a reliable new luxury car

BMW 5 Series

BMW 5 Series

Model year: 2003-2010

Reliability score: 85%

Owner satisfaction for this generation of BMW 5 Series is very much in-line with overall BMW customer satisfaction, and reliability has a big part to play in this. There’s no difference between the diesel and petrol options, and reliability is consistent throughout this car’s production life. Again, non-engine electrics are the cause of most faults.

Watch the video review of the new BMW 5 Series

The Audi A6 was the fifth most reliable new luxury car according to the 2010 Which? Car Survey

Audi A6

Audi A6

Model year: 2004-

Reliability score: 84%

The Audi A6 scores fairly inconsistently for reliability. Earlier models – both petrol and diesel – tend to breakdown less frequently, but have more faults and niggles. The models produced later in this generation of A6’s life score worse for breakdown, but there is a big improvement in faults and niggles.

Read our reports on the Audi A6

Used luxury cars

The Lexus GS is the most reliable used luxury car according to the 2010 Which? Car Survey

Lexus GS

Lexus GS

Model year: 2005-

Reliability score: 78%

Reliability isn’t the strongest characteristic of most luxury cars, but that’s not the case with the Lexus GS. The Japanese marque scores big points with owners for brand satisfaction, and the GS show why, with a strong reliability score. Earlier models appear to be more reliable than later cars, though.

Read the Lexus GS full review

Jaguar S-Type makes it into the top five used luxury cars for reliablity

Jaguar S-Type

Jaguar S-Type

Model year: 1999-2007

Reliability score: 75%

The Jaguar S-Type was designed to reflect Jaguar’s glory days with retro looks. Production ceased in 2007, and our survey results reveal a distinct decrease in reliability with newer models. Earlier cars score really well across the board, but faults and niggles become more common on newer cars.

Read our full review of the Jaguar S-Type

The Mercedes-Benz E-class makes a third appearance in the most reliable luxury cars list

Mercedes-Benz E-class

Mercedes-Benz E-class

Model year: 2002-2009

Reliability score: 75%

The Mercedes-Benz E-class was rated as the most reliable new luxury car according to the 2010 Which? Car Survey results, and it appears to maintain this high standard over time. Models leaving the production line later score better for reliability, and results are consistent between petrol and diesel variations.

The Volvo S60 is a proven relaible used luxury car

Volvo S60

Volvo S60

Model year: 2000-2008

Reliability score: 73%

This earlier version of the Volvo S60 (an all-new model was launched in 2010) has been touted as a very good used car purchase. Our 2010 Which? Car Survey results show petrol models aren’t as reliable as diesel options. Diesels appear almost breakdown-proof, while the petrol scored poorly for both breakdowns and faults.

Read our latest first drive of the 2010 Volvo S60

BMW 5 Series is a reliable new and used luxury car

BMW 5 Series

BMW 5 Series

Model year: 2003-2010

Reliability score: 72%

The BMW 5 Series has already made an appearance in the top five most reliable new luxury cars, and those who own one and filled in the 2010 Which? Car Survey said it retains a lot of those reliability benefits as a used car. Earlier models have a slightly better track record for reliability.

 

Get more from Which? Car

Get more from Which? Car

Magazine: Which? Car magazine is the UK’s only independent car guide (we don’t take ads, so our reviews are totally impartial). The Winter 2011 issue is the first of the new look Which? Car, packed with more new and used car reviews than ever before. We’ve dedicated more pages to in-depth reviews of all the major cars on sale today, helping you to make the most educated decision about buying a new or used car. It’s on sale now, priced at £4.99, available from Sainsbury’s, Tesco, WH Smith, Martin McColl and good independent newsagents.

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